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Palm Oil Action Australia | May 21, 2022

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Why is there a Crisis?


In the recent wave of trying to avoid trans-fatty acids, the processed-food industry has turned to palm oil as an alternative for partially hydrogenated oil. China and India are the main importers of palm oil. Tragically, this substitute is a far from healthy option if you are an orangutan. It is not good for human health or the environment either…

The increased demand for palm oil – which is obtained from the fruit of the oil palm tree and can be grown only in tropical environments – is fuelling destruction of the rainforest habitat of Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, pushing those endangered species even closer to extinction.

These endangered species include the Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), the Sumatran Orang-utan (Pongo abelii) and the Bornean Orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus).

If something isn’t done soon to stop the establishment and expansion of palm oil plantations into the forests that harbor these orangutans, they could be extinct within twenty years.

Supply and demand pressures are driving the production of palm oil up to an all time high. Palm oil is now the world’s most widely produced vegetable oil. Palm oil is found in many everyday products including biscuits, crackers, batters, chips, shampoo, skin care and beauty products, in different varieties of pet food and many others. It is also found in a wide variety of products sold in natural food stores. Palm Oil is also used as a biofuel. It has been estimated that the annual world biodiesel requirement by 2050 could be as much as 277 million tonnes, twice the vegetable oil production in 2008 and seven times the total palm oil production.

We have more information about what we are doing and how you can help throughout our website.